Poison Control hosts panel on designer drugs
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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- St. Mary's Hospital, in partnership with the New York Poison Control, held a public forum Thursday, to raise awareness on the growing use of bath salts.
More than 150 people filled the Carondelet Auditorium in Amsterdam to hear from the experts just how dangerously popular bath salts are becoming.
Dr. Alexander Garrard said 313 bath salt related calls have been made to the Upstate New York Poison Center since January 1st. That's in comparison to 118 calls in all of 2011, and 0 calls in 2010.
Garrard calls the drug an epidemic, and said distributors aren't making it very easy for officials to get a good grasp on it.
"The dealers, if you will, are aware that bath salts have this really bad name about it, and now they're calling it glass cleaner, pond cleaner, fish food, plant food, you name it, so it's essentially the same drugs, just being sold under another name," Dr. Garrard.
"Certainly a lot of concern, this is again something we don't have a whole lot of information about and the intensity of the presentation and the symptoms can be very dangerous and potentially fatal," said Duane Miller, Director of Outpatient Service at Saint Mary's Behavior Health.
Symptoms of bath salt use include mood swings, and unusual and erratic behavior.